She recently made history as the first female student to be elected as president of the University of The Gambia Students’ Union (UTGSU).
But who’s Fatou Jeng?
Born on the 30th September 1996 in Banjul, Fatou attended Albion Lower Basic School before she moved to St Augustine’s Junior Secondary school. She served as head girl in both schools.
The 21-year-old gained admission to Nusrat in 2013, where she became actively involved in different student organisations such as the Nusrat Students’ Welfare Association (NUSWA), Nusrat Peer Health, Nusrat Library and Debating Society and Nusrat Government and History Club.
Upon her graduation from senior secondary, she pursued Gender Development at the Management Development Institute scoring Distinction in all her courses before moving to the University of the Gambia.
Fatou is one of The Gambia’s greatest female debaters. She represented the country at the Ghana International University Debate Championship. Until her election, she was the president of the University of the Gambia Debate Association.
Beyond the limits of the academic circle, the outspoken young woman severed as president of the Children Advocacy Network (CAN), founding member of Plant for the Planet Initiative and intern at the American Corner along Kairaba Avenue.
She represented The Gambia at various international forums such as the 7th UNAOC in Azerbaijan, the COP23 in Germany and the recently held UN ECOSOC Youth Forum in the United States.
Why student unionism?
According to Fatou, she entered the race to become UTGSU president because of her determination to make a difference regardless of her gender.
She described the r road to the presidency as ‘challenging and hectic’.
The 21-year-old said: “It was a life-changing process because it has helped me to realize that no matter how hard [one] try to impress and make people happy, [one] will still have people that will criticize [him/her].”
According to Fatou, the political atmosphere in the university has improved compared to previous years.
Asked about being the first female UTGSU president, she said: “this is a victory for every woman out there, every woman who is aspiring to occupy leadership positions. The victory is a source of motivation and aspiring for every young woman who believes in their competence and ready to break barriers.”
Fatou Jeng is expected to be inaugurated on the 13th February 2018.